Russia’s war in Ukraine to overshadow G-20 talks in Bali

Jul 6, 2022, 8:58 PM | Updated: Jul 7, 2022, 5:07 pm
In this handout photo released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister ...

In this handout photo released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their bilateral meeting ahead of the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Thursday, July 7, 2022. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

(Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations are gathering in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali for talks bound to be dominated by the conflict in Ukraine despite an agenda focused on global cooperation and food and energy security.

The one-day gathering will take place on Friday on the mostly Hindu “island of the gods” in the majority Muslim archipelago nation.

Underscoring the backdrop of tensions hanging over the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov stopped in various Asian capitals on their way to Bali, drumming up support and fortifying their ties in the region ahead of the talks.

The United States and its allies have sought to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin in as many ways as possible, including by threatening a boycott of the G-20´s Bali summit in November unless Putin is removed from the forum.

So as this year’s president of the G-20, Indonesia has been forced into playing a more constructive role on the world stage rather than acting just as an “event organizer.” The country has sought to remain neutral in dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and President Joko Widodo has been guarded in his comments.

Widodo was the first Asian leader to visit the warring countries. Ukraine is not a member of G-20, but Widodo has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the November summit along with Putin, hoping to appease all sides and limit any distractions from the forum’s agenda.

Zelenskyy has said he won’t attend if the war is continuing then and has opted to follow the discussions by video link. Widodo reportedly told Italian Prime Minister Marion Draghi, on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Germany, that Putin also will not be coming. Moscow has said a decision has not yet been made.

That apparent compromise may be put to the test when the G-20 foreign ministers gather in Bali’s heavily-guarded Nusa Dua tourist haven to lay the groundwork for the 17th summit of the West’s economic powerhouses.

Strains between Washington and Beijing are also apparent: On Wednesday, China launched a scathing attack on the U.S. and NATO, just days before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Chinese foreign minister are due to meet in Bali.

Washington “observes international rules only as it sees fit,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing. He said the “so-called rules-based international order is actually a family rule made by a handful of countries to serve the U.S. self-interest.”

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition he not be further identified, said it would be important to focus on the G-20 agenda in Bali, but that it “clearly cannot be business as usual.”

What is more important than a unanimous statement about the Russian invasion of Ukraine is what countries in the G-20 actually do to address the problems the world is facing now, he said.

A key aim of the talks will be to seek ways to improve food security at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has choked global markets, pushing prices of meat, dairy products, cereals, sugar and vegetable oils sharply higher.

“These visits are not only important for Indonesians but also for other developing countries in order to prevent the people of developing and low-income countries from falling into extreme poverty and hunger,” Widodo told reporters in Jakarta before his departure to Germany on June 26.

Russia and Ukraine account for a third of the world’s wheat exports and Ukraine alone grows enough of the grain to feed 400 million people. But Moscow’s blockade means Kyiv can only move 2 million tons a month, 60% less than usual.

Millions of tons of Ukrainian grain are sitting in silos waiting to be shipped through safe corridors in the Black Sea. Ukraine also is one of the world’s largest exporters of corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion halted most of that flow. Such disruptions threaten food supplies for many developing countries, especially in Africa.

Foreign ministers headed to Bali on Thursday come from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the U.S., and the European Union.

Blinken is scheduled to meet with Wang, Beijing’s top envoy, on Saturday. The meeting will be the latest high-level contact between U.S. and Chinese officials as Washington has questioned China’s stance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two sides could also discuss a possible lifting of U.S. tariffs on imports from China by President Joe Biden’s administration as it strives to counter inflation.

While in Bali, Lavrov is to hold meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including China, Mexico, South Africa and Brazil on the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers.

In talks on Thursday, Lavrov informed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang about “the course of fulfilling the main tasks of the Russian special military operation,” the term Moscow uses for its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

It said the ministers “shared their assessment of the actions taken by the West in the context of the situation in Ukraine.”

“Both parties emphasized that it’s inadmissible to introduce unlawful unilateral sanctions bypassing the United Nations,” the ministry said.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said it is important to show that the world does not accept the invasion of a smaller country by a more powerful neighbor.

“If we were to allow that as an international community, then no smaller country would be able to sleep peacefully at all,” she said after arriving in Indonesia. “That is why it is not only a question for us as Europeans how we deal with this brutal war of aggression, but it is also the defense of international law, it is the protection of smaller, medium-sized countries..”

Members of the G-20 account for about 80% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of the world’s population and about three-quarters of global trade.

___

Associated Press writer Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Wednesday, Aug. 10, 202...
Associated Press

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses. The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Law enforcement personnel escort the Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer All...
Associated Press

Trump Org. CFO expected to plead guilty in NY tax case

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops: Suspects in attack on elderly woman are ages 11 to 18

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three children ages 11, 13, and 14 and an 18-year-old beat and robbed a 70-year-old Asian woman last month inside her San Francisco apartment building and two of them have been arrested, police said Monday. The woman was outside her Chinatown building when the suspects approached her on July 31 and […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Case against Alex Jones can proceed, Connecticut judge says

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday cleared the way for a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut to proceed against Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The case was filed by relatives of some victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones has falsely claimed the […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Farmer John Hawk looks over his land as his seed onion fields are watered in Holtville, Cali...
Associated Press

Deadline looms for western states to cut Colorado River use

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Banks along parts of the Colorado River where water once streamed are now just caked mud and rock as climate change makes the Western U.S. hotter and drier. More than two decades of drought have done little to deter the region from diverting more water than flows through it, depleting […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Coroner: Central Illinois plane crash killed Santa Fe couple

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A coroner Monday identified a Santa Fe, New Mexico, couple as the two people killed when a single-engine plane crashed on a roadway in central Illinois. Killed in the crash Saturday in the small community of Hanna City were 75-year-old pilot James Everson and 67-year-old Lisa Evanson, Peoria County Coroner Jamie […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Russia’s war in Ukraine to overshadow G-20 talks in Bali